Department of  Neurosurgery
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Craniosynostosis Repair

A Minimally Invasive Approach

Specialized neuroendoscopic repair is offered by Washington University pediatric neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons at St. Louis Children's Hospital for children diagnosed with some types of craniosynostosis, a congenital condition in which two or more bones of the skull fuse or close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth.

This innovative treatment offers many advantages to the patient and family over open craniosynostosis, including

  • significantly shorter recovery time
  • smaller scars
  • less discomfort and swelling
  • shorter hospitalizations

During craniosynostosis, the surgical team uses endoscopes placed through two small incisions measuring about 1.5 inches each at the top of the head. A segment of bone is removed near the fused bone and in a few other places, which releases the fusion. No plating or reshaping are performed. Instead, in the first week after surgery, a custom helmet is made, which the child then wears to for up to a year following surgery.

Pre- and post-operative care is coordinated through the Craniofacial Team Clinic and the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Institute at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Faculty

Pediatric Neurosurgery Provider

Matthew D. Smyth, MD, FACS, FAAP

Pediatric Plastic Neurosurgery Providers

Kamlesh B. Patel, MD
Albert S. Woo, MD